Gympie Gold Rush Festival

Gympie's Gold Rush Festival is a eight day event held 5 - 15 October and celebrates the area's fascinating heritage whilst showcasing the diverse and colourful Cooloola region.

Gold Rush offers locals, tourists and visitors the opportunity to go back in history and pan for real gold in an authentic 1867 historical setting or find that once in a life time gemstone. Alternatively, you can relax on a balmy night on a blanket at the 'Symphony by the Lake'.

Gold Rush caters for all, with art shows, a street parade and a family party in the park.

Gold Rush offers tourists and visitors the experience of the warm hospitality of a country town, but with modern facilities and sophistication.

Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival

Yes folks! Its back by popular demand! All the fun of the Scarecrow Festival. And it is coming to your streets and paddocks from the 24th September right through October. Enter your scarecrow in either the “Traditional”, “Artistic”, or “Children” category.
This is a great opportunity to have some fun and dazzle our friends and visitors with our Aussie ingenuity. So how do you participate? Its simple, register your scarecrow in the local town of your choosing. Then make your scarecrow and have it in place where it can be easily seen from the road. Make sure its in place just before 24th September which is the official opening of Scarecrow Season. Don’t put it out too early, you want it to look its best for the judging which happens during the first week or two.
Each town that participates (Conondale, Kenilworth, Brooloo, Imbil, Kandanga,Amamoor, Dagunwill) have their own judges to choose the finalists that will represent them in each category at the Mary Valleyfinals. 
The top 3 entries in each category from each town will be entered into the Mary Valley Finals. The finals judging will happen on, or soon after, the weekend of October 2nd. We will have a couple of celebrity judges and the only criteria will be the “wow” factor. From a finalist point of view, we are not looking for the best construction, the most elaborate design or other such things. We just want to have some fun and crown the scarecrow that has the most “Wow, that’s an amazing scarecrow!”. Yes, its totally subjective. We’ll just let the judges worry about the reasons why they chose one over the other.
Just let your imagination flow!

Cooloola National Park Vehicle Access Permits

Vehicle permits are required to drive along the beach from north of the north head of the Noosa River to Middle Rocks south-east of Rainbow Beach, inland along the Freshwater track between Bymien and the beach, the Kings Bore Circuit track (locally known as Pettigrew Road and the eastern and western firebreaks) and the Leisha track.

Permits are NOT required to access Inskip Point or for the beach from Rainbow Beach township to Middle Rock, the Cooloola Way, the 4WD track to Poverty Point, and the 3km unsealed Freshwater track from Rainbow Beach road turnoff to Bymien picnic area. About 2.5 km of beach between the First Cutting and Third Cutting on southern Teewah Beach will be a vehicle-free area.

Domestic animals are excluded from the national park and most beaches within the Cooloola Recreation Area.

Vehicle Permits:

  • One-day pass for $15 (or $10 online)
  • 7 day pass $25
  • Monthly pass $39.35
  • Yearly pass $197.20.

Vehicle access permits are available 24 hours a day seven days a week online at or by phoning 13 74 68, or during business hours at DERM's head office at 400 George St Brisbane, Great Sandy Information Centre at Tewantin, QPWS Rainbow Beach office, the Shell Garage Rainbow Beach, Manta-Ray Barge Rainbow Beach, and Rainbow Beach IGA.